Foreward: Some would say 16 years is a long time. It all feels like a blur of lights, drinks, music and fangs. Justin and I got into the game industry at the same time 1995, within two months of each other to be exact. Justin at White Wolf, myself at Wizards of the Coast. Justin started out on the Rage TCG, I started out on the VTES TCG the uncanny symbology of that fact alone stays true to this day. Watch Justin at halftime during a Dallas Cowboys football game when they are losing or watch me well anytime the sun goes down and you'll get the joke. We both hit the ground running, worked hard and partied harder. To go into all the ridiculous levels of mayhem and mischief the two of us have gone through over the last 16 years would be a short debauched biography in and of itself. I'll sum it up to say that in 16 years we've danced, drunk and hosted parties that brought Vampire and what it means to us across the world multiple times over . On 3 continents and cities ranging from Shanghai, China to Cologne, Germany and god knows where else in-between. The point of this is that Justin was always more than just a developer who wrote the words and more than just the DJ who played the music. Maybe more than anyone else at White Wolf Justin embodied Vampire as we all envisioned it, as something real to be reveled in.
Like Michael Jordan, he tends to have semi annual retirement disorder. So we'll humor him once again, wish him the best then sit back and wait with a slight smirk.
In the meantime he's now taking a victory lap and eating a baguette.
It's been a wild ride Mr. DJ. You'll be missed.
Justin's Final Official thoughts on V20 in his own words. His Coda on Vampire if you will.
"I started work on the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire: The Masquerade six months before we even started talking about it at White Wolf. I kept working on it three months before we actually agreed to publish it, when the whole project was a big, ugly argument about what made for the best Grand Masquerade exclusive: an art book, a reprint of an existing title with a prestige cover, an 8x10 glossy of Shane in full Glamour Shots regalia (available for autographs at the show). None of them did what we wanted to do for Vampire's 20th birthday.
We committed to doing a cleaned-up rerelease of the game that started it all. It grew from a Grand Masquerade exclusive into a full release, direct to the player. Most of all, we established the open development process and asked for the input from everyone who'd be using the damned thing in the first place.
You normally think of books as a little bit antiquated, in comparison to computers, which are filled with lasers and time travel and have the information you want seven seconds before you realize you wanted it. But that wasn't the case here. I was working on the World of Darkness MMO, which is an enormous project and has a huge development time. And then when this book appeared — this book, this collection of dead tree pulp with ink physically pressed onto the pages that had been mixed by Trappist monks in between casks of fermenting beer — and came together in a fraction of the time of the elaborate, complicated, and extensive computer game that draws on its lore and history... well, it was a shift back into the even faster lane. Five hundred pages. Six months (okay, almost year) in development. And now, in your hands.
At no point in the life of the V20 project did I not believe in it. When initial sales projections suggested that we'd sell 2,000 copies, I called bullshit on it and we looked at other ways to get the book to players. Back when we printed Gehenna, we went back to press twice because the demand was so high. I knew, with the 20th Anniversary Edition, we'd easily have those numbers again. I believed in the book and I believed in the players, and you believed in us, because we've seen enormous demand. The book expanded from Grand Masquerade lagniappe into a full-fledged commercial release with eventual digital propagation, because people wanted it.
It's been an enormous pleasure, both diving back into the work that has defined my tenure at White Wolf, and doing it with the technology that allows us to have instant communication and feedback with the people for whom we wanted to do it. It's been a glorious opportunity to get back into the mindset of the turbulent nights before Gehenna and the zeitgeist of the Kindred when they first burst onto the scene back in 1991. 1991! A different century at this point!
That's really what I want to say here: It's been a pleasure. Despite all the hardships and additional demands of doing a 500-page book on top of building an MMO from the ground up, it's all been work on something I love, and something that so many of you seem to love, too. So here it is, the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire. May it amuse you and challenge you and hopefully scare you at least a little in the modern nights, the Final Nights, the Long Night, or whatever version of the Vampire experience you choose to explore. May it be as precious as the blood that keeps the Kindred vital.
— Justin Achilli, 2011"